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Get Permanent Residence in Portugal

Take your life in Portugal to the next level after residing in the country for five years

There are several ways to obtain Permanent Residence in Portugal. Our immigration lawyers will guide you through the process step-by-step.

How can a lawyer help with Portuguese permanent residency?

Our lawyers can assist you with upgrading the temporary permanent residence card into a permit with stronger rights and predictability. Our Immigration experts can help understand which documents to provide and obtain sworn translations. The Lexidy team does this while maintaining close contact the Immigration Authorities to ensure they process the application in a quick and efficient fashion. We are here to provide a quality service that focuses on delivering results and are committed to answering all questions within 24 hours.   

¨We will be with you each step of the journey.¨


What is Permanent Residency?

This is a type of residence permit that authorizes the holder to reside and work in Portugal. It gives the holder the same rights and conditions as Portuguese nationals and is considered to be a long-term document.

There are six basic ways to obtain long-term residence permits in Portugal. They include marriage, family reunification, study, work, investment or retirement and each has its own process. If the applicant lives outside the European Union, they will need to apply the right visa and once it’s accepted, they can apply for residency with the Portuguese government.

The permanent residence is typically the next step for people who have held a temporary residence permit for at least five years.

How to obtain a Permanent residence in Portugal?

For non-EU nationals that intend to stay in Portugal for more than three months, the first step is obtaining a long-term residence visa that allows them to apply for a Portuguese residence permit.

The first document, which is a residence permit card, is granted for two years and can be renewed for a further three years. After five years, the resident cant then apply for the permanent residence permit card. It gives the applicant permission to permanently live in Portugal and is part of the process for applying for Portuguese Citizenship. 

Requirements for Permanent Residence in Portugal

All non-EU citizens applying for a Portuguese residence permit must show that they have  sufficient financial resources to fund their lifestyle as well as evidence of accommodation in Portugal. 

There are sometimes additional documents and requirements, depending on the reason given for requesting a Portuguese residence permit, and our Portuguese Immigration lawyers can help with this. After five years legally living in Portugal, the person with temporary residence can upgrade theri status by applying for permanent residence.


The process for Portuguese Permanent Residency

– The existing temporary residence permit holder gathers the necessary documentation after five years of residency in Portugal.

– The applicant attends an appointment with SEF, which is Portugal’s Border Service, to apply for the new Permanent Residency Permit. A decision is made within 90 days.

– After the permit is approved, the Portuguese Permanent Residency card is issued within 90 days.

Legal Requirements for Permanent Residence in Portugal

As part of the Portugal’s residency program, the application for the permanent residence permit must be filed with the country’s borders and immigration agency. They must also meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a temporary residence permit for at least five years
  • Not been convicted of a crime punishable with a prison sentence of more than 1 year
  • Evidence of sufficient financially means
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal;
  • Proof of basic understanding of the Portuguese language. This is equivalent to A2 level

Frequently Asked Questions

Besides the obvious benefits of being able to live, work, and study in Portugal, as well as travel freely within the Schengen Area, which temporary residency also offers, there are some benefits to permanent residency.


The main benefit of permanent residency over temporary residency is that it lasts for longer, so there are fewer renewals and less paperwork. Most third-coutnry nationals have to renew their permit every one or two years when in Portugal. Even those who are citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland will only have their temporary residency granted for five years at a time and so can enjoy the benefits of less bureaucracy.

For most, especially those without an EU passport, obtaining Portuguese citizenship makes sense. However, there are reasons that plays in favour of the permanent residency. 


The first is limitations around dual citizenship. Although Portugal recognises dual citizenship, some countries, such as China, don’t, which means that the applicant would need to give up to his current passport for a Portuguese one. Therefore, it may be better to keep the current passport and retain Portuguese permanent residency. While this wouldn’t allow the permanent resident in Portugal to easily move to another EU country, they could still reside in Portugal and easily travel throughout the Schengen Area. 

There are no minimum stay requirements for Permanent Residence but it may be cancelled if the holder, without an acceptable justification, is absent from Portugal for 24 consecutive months, or 30-months non-consecutively over five years. 

Typically, the Portuguese Immigration officials will only demand to see proof that the holder has actually lived in the country or a reason why they’ve been absent.

If the citizen has dependent family members, like a spouse, dependent children or dependent parent and they are not entitled to the EU freedom of movement, they may apply for a permanent residence card after having possessed a residence card of non-EU dependent relatives for five years.

Yes, but if you have a temporary residence permit, you cannot be absent for more six consecutive months or eight months throughout the validity of the temporary residence permit card.


We are a department formed by qualified legal experts who have been trained in the field of immigration law. We work on these requests every day and it’s our passion. For us, Lexidy is a way of life and what excites us the most is to be able to deliver the happiness and satisfaction of a successful immigration process. We want to help you achieve your goals and dreams.


Vasco Dias

Thabata Mota

Thabata Mota

Diana Andrade

Diana Andrade

Gabriela Teruel

Gabriela Teruel

Karla Morais

Karla Morais

Deborah Andrade

Deborah Andrade

Alicia Vilafranca

Alicia Vilafranca

Rizette Rosendo

Rizette Rosendo

Legal Trainee


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